Category Archives: Uncategorized

How to Financially Prepare for a Funeral

Funerals are known for being not the happiest of events. However, the unfortunate reality is that, at some point, each individual will most likely have to deal with the passing of a relative, friends, or loved one. Therefore, financial planning for the funeral process is so important. Not only does it cut back on stress, but it also eliminates financial burdens or unexpected emergencies which can make the grieving process even more worse and traumatic. This is why financial preparation for a funeral is absolutely paramount. Preventive maintenance is always better than having to do damage control at the very last minute.

Pay for the Funeral Ahead of Time

Reports from U.S. News affirm the shockingly low amount of people who simply pay for their funerals before they die. Nobody likes to think of death, but the reality is that all of us will die at one point or another. However, there are various options for those who have the financial means to pay for their funerals before their passing. Many individuals have paid for their funerals via insurance policies, 1035 exchanges, and trusts with monthly payment plans. Regardless, there are various options for individuals who wish to cover all expenses which will be associated with their funerals.

Create A New Personal Savings Account

Not everyone can or wants to put aside hundreds of dollars per month into a payment plan for their forthcoming funeral. Thankfully, there are other alternatives regarding financial preparation for a funeral. One of the simplest ones includes simply creating a new personal savings account and putting aside an agreeable amount of funds on a consistent basis. The account can also be set up with a “payable-on-death” trusted beneficiary. This ensures that the funds which have been put aside are actually used for their funeral and not some other purpose or expense.

Purchase Life Insurance/Set Up Financial Power-of-Attorney

Additional effective means of financially preparing for a funeral include purchasing life insurance and setting up a financial power-of-attorney to make decisions regarding money after one’s passing. Not only does this avoid any confusions or uncertainties regarding who is in charge, but life insurance moreover comes in handy if the deceased has certain debts which they failed to pay off before their passing, affirms USA Today. Obviously, these are matters that nobody likes to think of, but they are very important and worth planning for. Effective plans are much easier to make ahead of time, versus in the middle of the grieving process.

People who have further questions about preparing for their funerals can also seek out the aid or advice of a financial adviser.

A Final Word

At the end of the day, each person owes it to themselves and the ones who care for them to do as much planning for their funeral as they possibly can. Not only does this make matters easier for all parties involved, especially during the grieving process, but it furthermore shows a degree of respect to those who are closest to us.

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

How to Financially Plan for Purchasing a Home

Home ownership is a huge step and can be very exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. Many individuals dream of the day that they will purchase their first home and enjoy all the perks and amenities of doing so. However, in order for the process of purchasing a home to be stress-free and as smooth as possible, it is very important for the soon-to-be homeowners to engage in some very precise and careful financial planning. Home ownership is not something to be rushed into. It is very important for the buyer to be financially prepared and comfortable with the decision they are making. Thankfully, there are some easy steps that one can take as they financially plan to purchase a home.

Consider Your Debt-to-Income Ratio

Before most people are able to purchase a home, they must first consult with a lender of sorts to see if they qualify for a loan. Nine times out of ten, an individual’s debt-to-income ratio will significantly impact whether or not the lender is comfortable with granting a loan to the aspiring homeowner, affirms Realtor.

In layman’s term, a debt-to-income ratio takes an individual’s debts and compares the amount to their income. In the best cases, one’s income outweighs any debts which they might have. After the lender assesses the individual’s debt-to-income ratio, they will determine whether or not the individual qualifies for a loan. If they do, the amount of money which they can borrow will also be determined by the lender.

Nine times out of ten, a 41% to 43% debt-to-income ratio is the highest that lenders will permit. Therefore, this is a very critical financial aspect that each individual should be aware of prior to moving to purchase a home.

Budget and Save Money Accordingly

There are countless expenses associated with homeownership. Many of these fees include, but are not limited to, repairs, home insurance, mortgage, maintenance, upgrades, and more. Of course, the specific numbers of the aforementioned expenses will vary from person to person. The amount of the allotted loan, the cost of the home, and various other monetary numbers will depend on the number of funds which need to be saved.

However, budgeting and saving money accordingly is always important, especially when one is preparing to make such a huge purchase. The proper financial planning saves people so much stress and grief that often comes along when one’s ducks are not in a row.

A Final Word

Purchasing a home is often a complex and very involved process. In addition to taking debt-to-income ratio into account and budgeting/saving accordingly, many people choose to contract the services of a financial advisor before they move forward with purchasing a home. While each individual can make their own financial moves and decisions, sometimes working with a professional can provide some added insight and help with the decision making process.

At the end of the day, any person who is ready to purchase a home deserves a smooth and stress-free process!

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

 

How to Financially Plan for a Startup Business

As the world of work changes, more and more people are taking steps to go into business for themselves. Sometimes this is done via freelancing, the gig economy, or simply by launching a startup company. However, making the right moves when launching a startup business is absolutely imperative and can be the determining factor in success or failure. One of the biggest and most common mistakes made by aspiring entrepreneurs is the failure to engage in full financial preparation. Thankfully, there are a series of steps that each person can take as they work to create or get their startup business off the ground.

Write an Excellent Business Plan

According to reports from Inc, having an understanding of the financial section of a business plan is paramount for any startup. This includes taking note of matters such as accounting, cash flows, profits/losses, etc. Essentially, the purpose of a business plan is to serve as a guide for how the entrepreneur will run his or her own business. Without a business plan, it is impossible to assess the structure of the startup and determine what is needed in order to turn it into a success.

Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs who are new to the world of business and startups remain unaware of how to write business plans. In these particular cases or situations, hiring a professional or accountant to help one come up with a business plan can be wise. Even though the added fee of doing so may seem initially scary, it is a worthy investment. The fact of the matter is that anyone who is serious about success and launching their startup needs to have a clearcut business plan. It is the only way. Going forth without one is a virtual guarantee for disaster.

Determine How to Manage the Day-to-Day Operations

Financial planning for any startup business is all well and good; however, management of the day-to-day operations is equally as critical. As noted by Startup Grind, the ins and outs of accounting play a very big role in whether or not one succeeds or fails in business. Thankfully, there are a variety of apps which can help with day-to-day tasks such as creating invoices and estimates, tracking transactions, generating receipts, managing payroll, pitching to investors, and more. The list, quite literally, goes on and on.

Some of the available apps to manage the aforementioned tasks (and others) include PlanGuru, Wave, FileThis, and CalcXML.

A Final Word

The intricate and required financial planning that comes with building a startup business should never serve as a deterrent or a cause of discouragement. While getting starting as an entrepreneur can be difficult in the beginning, the merits and rewards which come later are indescribable and immense. As automation and artificial intelligence begin to emerge into society, business ownership and self-employment will be some of the most lucrative ways to build a life and ensure financial and job security.

Putting in the work now ensures that entrepreneurs are able to reap the benefits later.

Authored by Gabrielle Seunagal

How to Financially Plan for Getting Married

Marriage is one of the most amazing things that will happen in a person’s life. Entering into a union and partnership with the person that you love, cherish, and care for is wonderful. However, like most things in life, entering a marriage requires and involves planning, especially when it comes to finances and money-related matters. Chances are that both people have their own financial histories; when entering into a legal partnership, total and complete transparency is absolutely paramount. Thankfully, there are a series of steps that both people can take as they prepare to say their wedding vows.

Be Honest and Communicative

As cliche as it may sound to some people, honesty, and communication are two of the most important factors in any marriage. however, this is especially applicable when money is involved. Before and throughout the marriage, both parties need to be honest about their financial standing and positions. For instance, if one individual has debt or loans that they have yet to pay off, they should be forthcoming and upfront about it. Entering into a marriage based on lies is extremely problematic and when money is involved, problematic can turn into catastrophic. The bottom line is to always be honest, omit nothing, and make sure that both soon-to-be spouses are on the same page.

Come Up with a Budget

As affirmed by The Balance, the creation of a joint budget is very advisable for couples. A budget matters because it allows both people to assess their financial standing and then come up with a plan to meet all needs. For instance, one (or both) parties might be bringing certain liabilities, assets, or spending habits into the marriage. There needs to be an understanding of incomes, expenses, payments, etc.

Many spouses sometimes also use joint bank accounts. Joint accounts are usually used for mutual expenses such as rent, groceries, car notes, etc. However, most people do maintain ownership of at least one separate, independent account. This is great for personal spending needs, such as eating out, shopping, going to the movies, or other similar fees.

Ultimately, a budget and an understanding of who controls which accounts and which accounts will be jointly controlled is a critical step before saying “I do.”

Plan for Later in Life

Married couples who are interested in partaking in certain milestones should plan for them. Some of the most common milestones include having children and entering into retirement. The fact of the matter is that both children and retirement are very expensive. If parents believe their children will one day want to attend college, putting aside funds for their college tuition and other associated fees is a pretty good idea.

The cost of living is going up with each passing day and people need to be prepared. This is applicable to not only having children but also for entering retirement. Both parties should have enough money saved up to live comfortably without having to worry about running out of funds and having to rush back into the workforce.

A Final Word

Regardless of how much planning is done, marriage can still come with certain bumps in the road and hurdles. However, nine times out of ten, financial planning can considerably decrease and minimize the impacts of any problems which may arise.

Everything You Need to Know About Hoarding Money

While hoarding money is not really a common phenomenon, it does happen from time to time. Nine times out of ten, distrust, paranoia, and fear are the motivating factors for individuals who willfully chose to hoard cash.

An Overview of Paranoia and Money

Reports from Money Instructor affirm that the decision to hoard money is often indicative of mental health ailments such as obsessive-compulsive disorder. When most people think of someone hoarding cash, they generally imagine a frenzied individual shoving large amounts of bills into mattress holes. While the aforesaid behavior can occur, there are also other prevalent behaviors associated with hoarding money.

For example, people who hoard money are usually very particular, even to a fault, about saving on expenses. Frugality has its merits, but, as the old saying goes, too much of a good thing is never good. Someone who suffers from money-related mental health issues will frantically fret over money spent down to the last cent. They may furthermore refuse to rid themselves of purchased items, even ones that have considerably depreciated or otherwise lost their value.

Unfortunately, money paranoia is not limited to hoarding cash and taking frugality to extreme measures. Individuals who are plighted with money-related mental health issues are moreover likely to retain all purchased possessions, review bank statements on a daily basis, and refuse to use certain resources for fear of “wasting” money. Chronic money hoarders may even cheat or swindle their relatives and friends for the sake of preserving or sustaining capital.

What Prompts Someone to Hoard Money?

Although one certain cause of hoarding has yet to be found, Psychology Today affirms that there are certain factors and circumstances which can increase the likelihood and susceptibility to hoarding. For instance, individuals who struggle with decision-making, have undergone past trauma, or have relatives who hoard are more probable to become hoarders themselves. Many people who frequently hoard money also usually suffer from variations of anxiety or depression related disorders.

Unfortunately, additional reports from Psychology Today affirm that hoarding can persist as a lifelong ailment. However, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. Treatment options to combat hoarding include cognitive-behavioral therapy, antidepressant prescriptions, and treatment designed to help afflicted individuals make better choices, lessen stress levels, and learn organizational skills. The ultimate goal of professional treatment is to help afflicted individuals feel comfortable with letting certain things go and absolve the need to obsessively hoard money.

A Final Word

Each person has their own unique relationship with money. However, said relationship can become problematic when money management is taken to extreme and unprecedented levels. Paranoia, regardless of its target, is never healthy and should always be remedied when its presence is made apparent.

Overcoming the desire to hoard money and other objects may be tough in the beginning, but with the proper work, time, and treatment, it can be done. Afflicted individuals are furthermore recommended to seek out professional help to combat hoarding as opposed to self-medicating.

Authored by Gabrielle Renee Seunagal